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Atman, A Collection of Parables

by Ed� Bon (Author), A. Saranagati (Illustrator)
One Source Press; first edition (September 6, 2012)

Reviewed by Jacob Ophiuchi

Atma Vichara is a branch of Avaita Vedanta, and was a methodology of Ramana Maharishi is a non-dual philosophy and a practice of the Hindu Vedic tradition, in which self-enquiry is the tool for Self-realization. One witnesses the source of one's thoughts, rather than the content; engaged in continuous reflection, with such questions as "Who remains when thoughts are absent?"
When one focuses on the root of cognition, rather than on the incessant chain of thought forms, the stuff of mind falls away and the bliss of undifferentiated consciousness remains. The knowledge of one's true nature has many roads-yet, Atma Vichara is called the pathless path. On the outside it seems simple, for one's object of concentration is the Self, as opposed to a deity, mantra or guru. Thus, as the author says, the search "begins at the destination."
Atman is a collection of forty-two quaint parables in this tradition written by Edo Bon, each ending in a short interpretation by the author. At one-hundred seventy-five pages, this small book would be suitable for a morning read to add a contemplative theme to one's day or, as one could see it fitting snugly into those short breaks during the day, as light reading with a deep affect (I would be amiss to say 'bathroom reading' though there are more than one accounts of sages reaching enlightenment on the toilet).
This material is reminiscent of some Sufi tales and those of Amerindian folk stories, and in the same tone as that of Aesop's fables. Light, yet impacting, on a level that attempts to strip the monkey mind of it's chatter, leading to a place where, "as the eyes can only see, so the self can only be."
This little book collects a number of insightful stories of asking the questions that lead to realization. So how does one, as the Delphic Oracle commanded: know Thyself...?"